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See also: heit


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle High German -heit, from Old High German -heit, and ultimately from *haiduz (personality, character, manner, way).[1] Cognate with Dutch -heid, English -hood, Danish -hed.



-heit f (plural -heiten)

  1. Converts an adjective into a noun and usually denotes an abstract quality of the adjectival root. It is often equivalent to the English suffixes -ty and -ness:
    schön (beautiful) + ‎-heit → ‎Schönheit (beauty)
    neu (new) + ‎-heit → ‎Neuheit (novelty)
  2. Converts concrete nouns into abstract nouns:
    Kind (child) + ‎-heit → ‎Kindheit (childhood)
    Christ (Christian) + ‎-heit → ‎Christenheit (Christendom)

Usage notes[edit]

  • While -heit is the normal form of this suffix, it becomes -keit after certain adjectival suffixes. These are -bar, -ig, -isch, -lich, -sam. For example: nützlich (useful) + ‎-heit → ‎Nützlichkeit (utility).
  • Adjectives ending in -el and -er behave irregularly: eitel (vain) + ‎-heit → ‎Eitelkeit (vanity); but: dunkel (dark) + ‎-heit → ‎Dunkelheit (darkness).
  • Sometimes -ig- is added to the adjective and the suffix thus becomes -keit: müde (tired) + ‎-heit → ‎Müdigkeit (tiredness). This is the general rule with adjectives in -haft and -los: fehlerhaft (faulty) + ‎-heit → ‎Fehlerhaftigkeit (faultiness).

Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Kluge, Friedrich (1989), “-heit”, in Elmar Seebold, editor, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache [Etymological dictionary of the German language] (in German), 22nd edition, →ISBN.

Further reading[edit]